January 31st, 2023 | From our CEO
Only 31% of employees have human-to-human connections today, according to HR research released by Gartner in 2022.
This is a shocking statistic to me.
If you have no human-to-human connections, then learning will not happen, innovation will not happen, and wellbeing will be hurt at the individual and company levels.
There is no question that connectivity has dropped in the last 3 years. In Innovisor, we have measured a drop in human-to-human collaboration of 30% inside organizations. Individuals have in vast numbers gotten disconnected from their colleagues.
The question is therefore, how can you rebuild human-to-human connectivity?
Human-to-human connectivity will not happen by itself or through a laissez-faire approach. It will also not happen by forcing people to be in the office for a specific number of days. It requires something else…
The key is intentionality.
You need to be explicit about who should be connected to whom? – about what should they connect? – when should they connect? – and how?
One company, we worked with, used the input of an organizational network analysis to determine, who among employees suffered from a lack of connectivity. They then used the manning of OKR as a tool to intentionally rebuild connections, where the connections were missing.
Each OKR team:
- Set their own goal and define their own plan.
- Make sure the goal is meaningful and that the plan makes sense to all OKR team members
- Had the mandate to spend time and have fun together
- Adopted a structure for participation and progress reporting
Two years later, despite having faced the obvious challenge to connectivity caused by the pandemic, the company had improved the connectivity of the participants in the OKRs by 65%.
The Gartner research confirms the importance of being intentional, as they say: “When organizations help employees build connections intentionally, their employees are 12 times as likely to feel connected with colleagues,” and “Furthermore, their employees are five times more likely to be on a high performing team.”.
If you want to harvest the benefits of connectivity, the first question you must answer is: Who should be connected to whom?
Regretfully most organizations skip that essential step and move straight to what and when.